Just recently one of our great clients passed away. She developed cancer and was gone in only a short couple of months. She just celebrated her 76th birthday in November and then spent the holidays in the hospital. She died during the first week of January.
Voices and Images was honored to work with her to write her life history. We were able to publish her story before she died. What a wonderful chance her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren now have to relive her beautiful life.
Her book is full of photos that document her life. Her history is made up of her memories by telling stories that inspire and bring humor to her life. Those who knew her are inspired by her life, and those who did not, have a chance to learn more about her. Because of her history, future generations will know about her life. Now she will always be more than a name on a pedigree chart.
Before I started to work with people to write their history, my father passed away very suddenly. Circumstances were similar, but in the case of my own father, I did not have his history before he passed away. To this day I regret the fact that I do not know much about his life. My Dad was an only child so there were no aunts or uncles to talk to about him.
The value of having a written life history is not for the person who the story is about, but instead, it is for the future generations that can share in their lives. Their successes and failures are shared with their descendants. Like a ship that quickly vanishes into the thick ocean fog, the story of an individual can suddenly disappear when they die.
I have talked to many older people and asked them if they have a written history of a relative father/mother or grandfather/grandmother. Many will raise their hands to tell me yes they do! I then ask, “how often do you look at the book?” Many tell me they look at these books often. They find tremendous inspiration by reading them. When I next ask them how many are writing their own history, the answer is not many!
I then ask, “Why? If you all find inspirational value in reading about the lives of your ancestors why not provide the same to your descendants?”
Writing is not easy and preparing a life story and getting it printed/published is even more difficult. Don’t let these reasons get in your way. I started Voices and Images to assist people to prepare and write their own histories. We offer a number of ways to help, from providing technical support, coaching to keep them inspired and to help overcome obstacles, and to actually writing it for them.
I feel that it is so important to write your story, nothing can replace having that book in the hands of your descendants. I promise you they will treasure it more than anything else you can leave them!